Urban Conflict, Rent Seeking, and Corruption Economic and Political Institutions in a Historical Perspective

  •  Marie-Christine THAIZE CHALLIER    


This paper is an empirical analysis to explore the relationships between urban conflict and both rent seeking and corruption. It examines social disturbances in medieval France through a sample of twelve towns examined over the period 1270-1399 in a real context of informational asymmetries, commitment problems, and issues indivisibilities. As regards the economic corruption class, it is found that townspeople rebel more often and more intensely against the extortion of funds carried out by policy makers than against the embezzlement of a part of these funds. As to the political corruption class, the findings highlight that abuse of power against municipalities is identified in more social unrest than influence peddling against these local institutions. Furthermore, it is shown that rent-seeking-related policies (like arbitrary actions limiting property rights, economic rules-based policies, and targeted political measures) have less influence on urban conflict than corrupt policies do. These findings produce insights that apply beyond the historical context and analysis of the paper. Situations presenting over-indebted towns despite overtaxed people disturb also modern democracies.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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